Summer carnival parade taking over Rotterdam

Rotterdam summer carnival paradeA fiesta of joy, passion and pride. Undeniably, the summer carnival parade is one of the highlights of the Rotterdam festival season.

Exuberant costumes and flashy make-up

Imagine 2.500 exotic dressed peopledancing through the heart of Rotterdam. Proudly wearing exuberant costumes and flashy make-up. Meanwhile, lavishly decorated floats straw stirring, tropical rhythms. Uplifting music fills the streets of the city. Watching it motionless, without feeling the good vibes, isn’t an option. This parade will make you dance.

In 1984 a group of students of Antillean origin organized the first edition. At the time, the event attracted around 1500 visitors. Nowadays more than 750,000 people visit the parade. This is one of the biggest outdoor events in the Netherlands. More than 30 groups and floats join this colourful party.

Check our photos and video of the 2016 edition. 

Floats summer carnival parade Rotterdam

Hooray for cultural diversity

The summer carnival parade is part of the Rotterdam Unlimited festivalCelebrating cultural diversity is its recurring theme. Given the turbulent times in which we live, we think this theme is more relevant than ever. Mahatma Gandhi once said:

“Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilization.”

Presumably that’s why the summer carnival parade is on the Dutch Intangible Cultural Heritage list. This annual celebration contributes to the cultural identity. And it reinforces social cohesion.
Celebrating cultural diversity

Tropical outdoor party

Rotterdam Unlimited is a fully-fledged cultural festival. Prior to the parade, national and international musicians rock the stage at various places in town. The spectacular percussion sessions of the Battle of the Drums announce the colorful parade through the heart of Rotterdam, the next day.

The summer carnival parade is a massive tropical outdoor party, over a distance of more than 5 kilometers! So everyone is invited.

Dancers summer carnival parade

Summer carnival parade visitor tools

Held annually in the last week of July.

Streetparade Edition 2019
  • Saturday 27 July, start time: 13:00
  • Start: Blaak, Rotterdam
  • Carnival route
  • Full programme Rotterdam Unlimited Festival
  • Participants (in orde of appearance):
    • 1. LaLindas
    • 2. Brass band Dreamteam
    • 3. Queen Summer Carnival 2019: Chesley Association
    • 4. Blends Carnival Group from Rotterdam, theme ‘BLENDS2K19’
    • 5. Grupo Pashon Exotico from IJsselstein, theme ‘Welcome to my Fantasy
    • 6. Dordtse Diamonds from Dordrecht, theme ‘Fantasy of the Carrousel’
    • 7. Bolivia Minka from Purmerend, theme ‘La Llamerada’
    • 8. Queens and international guests
    • 9. Harbor warehouse Summer princess 2019
    • 10. Sun for Life Foundation from Capelle a / d IJssel, theme ‘Pride Meermaids’
    • 11. Cabo Verde Chegou from Spijkenisse, theme ‘The Power of Africa’
    • 12. Police Steelband
    • 13. Fédération Carnaval Tropical de Paris from Paris, theme ‘Craziness of Carninval
    • 14. La Diferencia from Rotterdam, theme ‘Aloha Luau’
    • 15. The Challengers from Eindhoven, theme ‘Hi Go Go’
    • 16. Samba group Timbao
    • 17. Royal Carnaval Crew from Rotterdam, theme ‘The Royal Recycle Family’
    • 18. Las Manias Carnavalgroup from Almere, theme ‘Kings and Queens of Egypt’
    • 19. Precious Carnival Group from Rotterdam, theme ‘Delft Blue goes Tropical’
    • 20. People’s Choice from Spijkenisse, theme ‘Indian Warriors’
    • 21. How Fair How Better from Capelle a / d IJssel, theme ‘Burlesque Moulin Rouge Time’
    • 22. Shining Stars from Alkmaar, theme ‘Let’s Play Chess’
    • 23. Royal Kingdom from Dordrecht, theme ‘Royal Kingdom goes Rio’
    • 24. Colombia from Gorinchem, theme ‘Parade Feest’
    • 25. Trinidad Connection & Friends from Amsterdam, theme ‘Carnival is …’
    • 26. Sorpresa from Tilburg, theme ‘Cirque du Dolphin’
    • 27. Caribbean Love from Eindhoven, theme ‘The 7th Heaven’
    • 28. Awókey Mas Freedom Limerz, from Rotterdam, theme ‘The Revelation of Angels & Jab Jab’
    • 29. Sparkling Mix from Utrecht, theme ‘Sparkling Mix Presents: Butterfly Fantasy 2019’
    • 30. Bin Bo Bula Adenter from Amersfoort, theme ‘The Color of Music: Our Universal Language’
    • 31. Small Island Unity from Rozenburg, theme ‘Colors of the Wind’
    • 32. Brass band Unicum Brass